1, 2, 7, S, N, R, Q, W, A, C, E to 42nd St./ Times Square
Take the M7, M20, or M104 bus.
The Shubert Organization's fiftieth venue in New York City, it was constructed to replace their outdated Lyric Theatre. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp specifically to accommodate musical theatre productions, it opened on December 25, 1923 with the Oscar Hammerstein II-Vincent Youmans production Mary Jane McKane. Since then, it has hosted numerous important musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Dreamgirls (1981), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985) and Les Misérables (1990), which played at the theatre until 2003. Billy Elliot the Musical played at the theatre from November 2008 until January 2012.
Among the famed 20th century composers and lyricists whose works were housed here are Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin, Harold Rome, Frank Loesser, Lionel Bart, Bob Merrill, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, E.Y. Harburg, Harold Arlen, and George and Ira Gershwin. Performers who have graced the stage include Ethel Merman, Gertrude Lawrence, John Gielgud, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Mary Boland, Ray Bolger, Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz, Mary Martin, Zero Mostel, Danny Kaye, Jerry Orbach, Shelley Winters, Bernadette Peters, Ben Vereen, George Rose, Hugh Jackman, and John Lithgow. It is also the venue of the first Ms. Globe Pageant in 1951.
The most successful shows of the 1970s were Bob Fosse's production of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin (1972) starring Ben Vereen, and back-to-back Neil Simon hits: Chapter Two (1977) and They're Playing Our Song (1979). Michael Bennett's Dreamgirls (1981) was followed by two Shubert-produced musicals: Chess (1988) and Jerome Robbins' Broadway (1989). In 1990, Les Misérables moved to the Imperial from the Broadway, and completed its 6,680 performance run.
Most recently, the Imperial welcomed Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman in the Peter Allen musical biography, The Boy From Oz (2003), the award-winning musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005), Tracy Lett's acclaimed August: Osage County (2007), and the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Billy Elliot (2008).
Watch a video about the Imperial Theatre at Spotlightonbroadway.com